Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves on Tuesday described to Parliament as “rumour” reports that stolen goods were recovered from a senior police officer.
Gonsalves was responding to a question submitted by Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace.
Eustace was not in Parliament and Member of Parliament for the Northern Grenadines Godwin Friday asked the question on his behalf.
Gonsalves, who is also Minister of National Security, was asked “to confirm whether stolen goods have been recovered from a senior police officer and if so why has the officer not been charged”.
“Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members: it is amazing that rumour has become solidified in fact and a request is made in a question to confirm whether stolen goods have been recovered from a senior police officer,” Gonsalves said.
Gonsalves told Parliament that
Romano Andrews, a 21-year-old labourer, of Peruvian Vale/Diamonds was arrested on Jan. 20, March 6, June 15 and 16 for a series of burglaries.
“A number of exhibits were recovered. None of the items was found in the possession of or on the premises of any senior police officer,” Gonsalves told Parliament.
He said Andrews is currently serving two years in prison for burglary and is on remand for other pending matters
“You may say what does Romano Andrews have to do with this? Well, a senior police officer goes by the name Andrews and that was the rumour which was being circulated that the senior police officer is involved somehow with this,” Gonsalves said.
I-Witness News understands that Andrews is related to Assistant Superintendent of Police Techla Andrews, commandant of the Police Training School.
“This is what the Parliament has come to,” Gonsalves said of the question posed by the opposition.
“Unfounded rumour — rather than — I could have simply been asked the question. A phone call could have been made to me, or, in fact, contact being made with Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner of Police.
“You know, we have to be careful that we use the Parliament very sensibly and responsibly,” Gonsalves said.
He said when a question is posed like Eustace’s, “rather than simply inquiring as to whether reports of stolen good having being recovered are true or not, they are asking you to confirm them. In other words, they are on the road to truth and all you have to do is confirm them.
“And it follows with the conjunction, if so, why have they not been charged,” Gonsalves said.
“Mr. Speaker, when I saw this question on the order paper, I was really astounded, to say the truth. Because I have heard this kind of a rumour being circulated and I took the time out to ask the Commissioner of Police and to ask other officers,” Gonsalves said, adding that he spoke to an officer who was involved in the investigation of a particular matter.
He said he asked the Commissioner to send him the answer, which he read in Parliament.
“… the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines can make the judgement. It is under the hand of the Commissioner of Police,” Gonsalves said.
A former police officer, Jeffrey Garraway, a resident of Marriaqua, is among the persons whose home was broken into in a series of burglaries.
Garraway, who lives overseas, told The News newspaper that his home was burglarised in December.
He told the publication that a high-ranking officer was involved in handling at least one item that was stolen from his house.
The newspaper, however, did not name the police officer or the suspect allegedly involved.
They, however, quoted Garraway as saying a senior police officer is related to the suspect who has been released without charged several times although he had confessed to the burglary.
Garraway said that the suspect and the senior police officer a television to detectives during the investigation, The News reported.
Commissioner of Police Michael Charles had described the allegation as “utter nonsense”.